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When it comes to switching up fast-food menus, some decisions don’t go over as well as others.
Recently, fast-food fans expressed their outrage at multiple menu changes, including KFC’s decision to swap its famous potato wedges for fries and Taco Bell’s controversial move to drop potatoes from its menu altogether. McDonald’s has also made waves over the years by removing chicken tenders, the infamous McRib, and all-day breakfast from menus.
Here are 13 times fast-food menu changes outraged customers.SEE ALSO: 7 fast-food items that face an uncertain future due to the coronavirus pandemic
McDonald’s angered fans when it decided to drop chicken tenders from the menu in 2013, and again when the chain limited its menu due to COVID-19.
The fan-favorite menu item, then called Chicken Selects, first arrived on menus in 2004. However, in 2013, they were removed from menus nationwide. Four years later, chicken tenders made their way back onto menus as Buttermilk Crispy Tenders.
However, much to the chagrin of McDonald’s fans, the chicken tenders soon sold out and were removed from menus nationwide.
“McDonalds discontinued the chicken tenders and I’m sad,” one user tweeted, according to an article by The Daily Meal.
“@McDonalds Ummmm when did you guys stop serving the Crispy Chicken Tenders that was the best thing you ever had!!!!” another Twitter user said.
While chicken tenders did eventually return to menus, they have been temporarily discontinued yet again as the chain continues to operate using a limited menu during the coronavirus pandemic.
McDonald’s may also be in the process of cutting its famous all-day breakfast, which started in 2015.
McDonald’s “temporarily” stopped serving all-day breakfast at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. However, many McDonald’s franchisees and workers are rallying for the famous all-day menu to never return.
“As McDonald’s and franchisees evaluate if and how we bring All Day Breakfast back to our menus, we want to ensure these improvements will remain consistent for our customers,” McDonald’s said in a statement to Business Insider. “Any final decision will be made in partnership with our franchisees, based on consumer demand, and designed to drive the business while minimizing operational disruptions.”
Many customers are already getting antsy about the possibility of all-day breakfast never coming back.
“mcdonald’s bring back all day breakfast u weak worthless coward,” tweeted one user.
Another person tweeted the chain saying, “@McDonalds when y’all gone bring back all day breakfast all I want is a McGriddle and I can’t get it.”
The official McDonald’s Twitter account responded saying, “We’re not so sure about when. We’re still evaluating if and how we bring All Day Breakfast back to our menus.”
McDonald’s faced backlash when it announced it would be removing cheeseburgers and chocolate milk from the Happy Meal menu.
In 2018, McDonald’s announced it would be switching up its Happy Meal offerings in an attempt to make the kid’s menu item healthier. Cheeseburgers and chocolate milk would no longer be included in the Happy Meals but could be requested by customers.
“With these planned menu updates, there will be average reductions of 20% in calories, 50% in added sugars, 13% in saturated fat and/or 17% in sodium, depending on the customer’s specific meal selection,” the company said in a statement.
However, not everyone was happy with the change. Some angry parents took to social media to complain that the chain was overstepping and trying to make decisions regarding other people’s children’s diets, Business Insider reported at the time.
Fans of the McRib were devastated after McDonald’s removed it from menus.
The McRib was released in 1981. However, after four years of lackluster sales, it was removed from the chain’s menu. It returned again in 1989, and again in 2012. However, just as quickly as it came back, the menu item disappeared again.
Some fans were so passionate about the McRib that they created entire websites designed to call attention to the menu item and beg the chain to bring it back.
Now, McDonald’s has announced the McRib will be available nationwide once again on December 2 for the first time in eight years.
Taco Bell recently upset some customers after deciding to remove potatoes from its menu.
In late July, Taco Bell announced it would officially be dropping potatoes from its menu in August 2020. Affected menu items include Taco Bell’s Spicy Potato Soft Taco, Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes, and Cheesy Potato Loaded Grillers.
“We know some vegetarian go-to items might be gone, but Taco Bell’s menu remains highly customizable,” Taco Bell said in a press release.
However, the statement didn’t stop vegetarian customers and potato-lovers from taking to social media to air their concerns.
“hey @tacobell idk if ur aware, but u were a safe haven when it came to fast food for vegans/vegetarians because potatoes were used to substitute meat. This was probably your worst idea to date. you’re about to lose more clientele than you’re even aware of,” wrote one Twitter user.
However, while the potatoes may be gone, Taco Bell has hinted that it may be opening the door to plant-based meats and other vegetarian-friendly options.
Taco Bell also just announced it would be dropping the famous Quesarito, a fan-favorite item, from restaurant menus.
At the same time Taco Bell announced it would be discontinuing potatoes, the chain announced it would also be removing the famous Quesarito from restaurant menus. The item, which is a combination of a beef burrito and a quesadilla, will still be available to order online and via Taco Bell’s app for pickup or delivery.
However, some fans were nevertheless outraged by the change.
“The fact that @tacobell took the quesarito off of the menu is absolutely barbaric. Really, the quesarito? Figure it out,” wrote one Twitter user.
“Taco Bell discontinuing the quesarito just means I’ll never have Taco Bell ever again,” tweeted user Molly Anne.
Taco Bell announced it would be dropping the Mexican Pizza from its newly streamlined menu starting November 5.
Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza was a fan-favorite menu item. However, as the chain began the process of limiting its menu, Mexican Pizza was dropped.
“We know some fans may be sad to see this one go, we are too. One silver lining of saying goodbye to the Mexican Pizza that might help you rest easy is that removing it from our menus helps us work towards our commitment to leave a lighter footprint on our planet,” Taco Bell said in a press release in September.
Many fans took to social media to air their grievances about the menu change.
“I demand @tacobell make a statement as to why they got rid of the Mexican pizza if they haven’t already. The people need answers,” one user tweeted.
“There’s no @tacobell without the Mexican pizza. #bringitback,” wrote another.
KFC also started a potato-related controversy when it decided to switch out its potato wedges for fries.
KFC has been serving up its famous potato wedges for years, much to the adoration of fast-food fans. However, the wedges are now set to be replaced with a new menu item — “Secret Recipe Fries.”
“While we know there are wedge-lovers out there who may be disappointed, consumer response to our Secret Recipe Fries during the test and the rollout has been overwhelmingly positive,” a KFC representative previously told Business Insider.
“Disappointed” is right — many fans of the chicken chain’s potato wedges shared their upset online.
“kfc got rid of their potato wedges…to say im heartbroken is an understatement,” tweeted one customer.
KFC’s famous Double Down sandwich was met with buzz and criticism.
The Double Down — bacon and cheese between two pieces of fried chicken instead of bread — quickly attracted attention from customers.
“This is deep-fried madness,” Colbert Report host Stephen Colbert said when the sandwich launched. “This is breaded insanity. It is a sandwich that lacks all sandwich-ness. It’s like an edible Hieronymus Bosch painting wrapped in a paper straitjacket. If a sandwich has no buns, can it truly be called a sandwich?”
Sales initially failed to meet the early buzz of the new menu item, and the item has since been removed from US menus.
When Business Insider’s Kate Taylor tried it in South Korea, where they also add a hashbrown to the sandwich, she said it was slightly better than the original, though just as greasy.
“It’s a beast of a sandwich, with greasy layers atop greasy layers. It is also fantastic if you like this sort of fast-food, deep-fried decadence,” she said. “The hash brown is an inspired addition, adding a much-needed carb element that brings the dish together and elevates it over the original American version.”
Chick-fil-A caused an uproar in 2016 when the chain decided to drop the spicy chicken biscuit and coleslaw from menus.
According to a previous article by Business Insider, Chick-fil-A faced backlash when it dropped a number of items from its menu in 2016, including the spicy chicken biscuit, coleslaw, oatmeal, cinnamon clusters, and some sauces and salad dressings.
One Facebook user called the menu change an “atrocity,” according to Business Insider. Other users also shared their concerns.
“Cole slaw, carrot salad and now spicy chicken biscuits gone whoever is making these choices should be fired,” wrote one user.
Popeyes disappointed fans after temporarily pulling its mega-popular chicken sandwich.
Though you can now order the famous Popeyes chicken sandwich day or night, it wasn’t always so easy to get your hands on this beloved fast-food menu item. After the sandwich’s initial smash success in August 2019, locations nationwide ran out of the ingredients needed to make the sandwich in just two weeks.
Not only were fans disappointed to find many locations were out of the sandwich, but chaos and even violence ensued right after the menu item launched as people clamored to try it.
Burger King faced backlash from the farming community after announcing it would be testing burgers from cows with diets designed to reduce methane gas emissions.
In July 2020, Burger King said it would be testing the new “Reduced Methane Emissions Beef” burgers at five US locations. Burger King claims adding lemongrass to cows’ diets could ease digestion and reduce methane emissions, which have been linked to climate change.
Though not necessarily customers, members of the US agricultural community were shocked by the announcement. According to the BBC, leaders in the farming community called a commercial encouraging farmers to change their cows’ diets “condescending and hypocritical.”
“Put yourself in our shoes!” agricultural columnist and farmer Michelle Miller, known online as the Farm Babe, explained. “We in agriculture constantly feel attacked, whether it’s from food companies or activists … people really have no idea what we do. We oftentimes feel very undervalued and under-appreciated, and it would be nice to have brands actually thank us and showcase the work we do. Lift us up, don’t tear us down. Without farmers, Burger King has no beef at all.”
According to the BBC, the chain said in a statement, “[The campaign] ‘Cows Menu’ is not something that will solve the climate change problem in the short term, but it is a scalable finding that may allow change in the future. The majority of the conversation around this announcement has been overwhelmingly positive.”
Subway caused a stir when it removed roast beef and rotisserie chicken from its sandwich lineup.
In June, Subway announced it would be removing rotisserie chicken and roast beef from many of its locations.
“Bring back roast beef and the rotisserie chicken,” one person wrote on Facebook, according to a previous article by Business Insider. “You just removed the best menu items. What gives?”
“My wife works at a Subway … she says no roast beef is the biggest complaint they receive. She doesn’t understand why they took it off the menu either if it’s so popular,” wrote one Twitter user.
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